About Oconee EMA
Oconee County Emergency Management Agency is the Oconee County equivalent of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security (GEMA/HS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). We work closely with these agencies (as well as dozens of others, both public and private) before, during, and after emergencies and disasters.
The Oconee County Emergency Management Agency is responsible for assisting in the protection of lives and property of Oconee County citizens in the event of natural or manmade disasters. Emergency Management anticipates emergencies, takes steps to prevent loss of life and property, and provides quick response when havoc strikes.
Oconee County's Emergency Management Agency was established by the commissioners to develop and implement a county-wide program. The backbone of the county-wide program is that all emergency agency and support agencies work together. Emergency management and other emergency agencies identify hazards that face each community and develop contingency plans for each potential emergency. Emergency management provides the expertise, training, and coordination that local governments need to protect lives and property.
The Mission of Oconee Emergency Management
Our mission is to prepare for and assist in the protection of lives and property of the county's citizens in the event of natural or manmade disasters through the processes of preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation.
Some Primary Responsibilities:
1. Protection of lives and property through the four processes of:
- Mitigation: Activities which may prevent the occurrence of an emergency, reduce the community's vulnerability, and/or minimize the adverse impact of disasters or emergencies. A preventable measure or instance is the enforcement of local building codes to minimize such situations. In bring all this together, the Emergency Management Agency working with other county departments, non-governmental groups, volunteer agencies, and citizens developed a Hazard Mitigation Plan for the county and was submitted to FEMA for approval and is updated yearly.
- Preparedness: Activities which exist prior to an emergency to support and enhance disaster response. Planning, training, exercises, community awareness, and education are among such activities. The Emergency Management Agency is responsible for the development and yearly updating of the county wide Local Emergency Operations Plan which is developed around the local county agencies, departments and non-governmental organizations to prepare county to respond to disasters and emergencies and must be approved by GEMA.
- Response: Activities involving the response to a disaster or emergency by county agencies, departments and non-governmental organizations to perform rescue, save lives, reduce casualties, assist citizens with needs and assess damage to help with recovery process. Emergency Management works with all involved to develop response plans for the different hazards that could affect the county and to designing exercises and drills test those plans.
- Recovery: Activities which address the immediate, short-term and long term effects a disaster or emergency has had on county. There are two phases of recovery short term and long term. The goal of short term assessing all damages and returning vital functions to minimum operating standard as quickly as possible, such as utilities and county services. This helps to reduce casualties, damage, and speed recovery. The recovery phase also reveals mitigations activities that need to be put into to place to help prevent any reoccurrence and also reveals areas that changes to response plans need to be improved or response plans developed.
Recovery involves returning the county to a normal state as quickly as possible. Long-term recovery activities may continue for months or years when rebuilding and relocating due to significant property damage cause by the emergency or disaster.
2. Fulfilling a Performance Partnership Agreement (PPA) between Oconee County and GEMA/HS. The PPA agreement is a set of partnership principles and an Emergency Management work plan that must be fulfilled by the county to maintain the county’s eligibility for funding through Homeland Security, FEMA and other federal agencies.
3. Keeping city and county citizens informed and working with and coordinating with the cities in county on emergency management matters. The county has a consolidated emergency management program that includes the four cities within the county.
4. Maintain the County Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
5. Providing advance warnings to emergencies and disasters affecting county. We accomplish this goal on multiple fronts. We maintain and operate WRD 347, 1610 AM radio to broadcast emergency information. Additionally, we provide e-mails to county agencies, departments and schools (both public and private) and we utilize Emergency Management Network (EMnet) to forward e-mail and pager Emergency Alert System (EAS) advisory and warning messages of emergency or disaster that could affect the county.